The Association of British Insurers has appointed former MP and secretary of state, Baroness Nicky Morgan, to become its first ever independent chairwoman.
From this month, Morgan will chair the ABI board, as well as the new Reputation and Customers Committee, for the next three years.
The House of Lords member is also a non-executive director of Santander UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
MP for Loughborough until 2019, Morgan previously served as secretary of state for education between 2014 and 2016, and more recently as secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport until 2020.
“The insurance and long-term savings industry is one of the UK’s biggest global success stories,” said Morgan upon her appointment today (November 10).
“There are many challenges and opportunities facing the sector ranging from customer trust to supporting the transition to net zero.
“The ABI has an excellent reputation and I’m excited to take on this new role as the ABI’s first independent chair at this crucial time.”
Morgan will replace Jon Dye, who is stepping down having served as ABI chairman since July 2019.
The ABI has also appointed UK Finance’s Hannah Gurga as director general, and Baroness Dianne Hayter as independent non-executive director and senior independent director - the latter being another newly created role.
Gurga will take up her role in “early 2022”, according to the ABI, whilst Hayter joins this month like Morgan and will keep her role for the next three years.
The new director general is currently managing director of digital, technology and cyber as well as chief of staff at bank trade body UK Finance.
She also brings with her experience from the London Stock Exchange Group, ICAP and HM Treasury. Her predecessor, Huw Evans, will depart in December to join KPMG as a partner in the new year.
Hayter, who joins the ABI’s board alongside Morgan, most recently served as the shadow deputy leader of the House of Lords.
In October 2021, she stepped down from the Labour front bench in the Lords and became chairwoman of the Lords International Agreements Select Committee.
ABI said its two new board roles, focused solely on internal activity and governance, were introduced as part of reforms it announced earlier this year.
These reforms were in an effort to redouble the industry’s efforts on boosting customer trust, enhancing its reputation and tackling future risks such as climate change.
The independent non-executive director role includes being a member of the Audit Committee, the Reputation and Customers Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Committee.